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White House official pressed Biden’s Saudi trip in light of ‘pariah’ comment


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As President Biden announced a July trip to Saudi Arabia, which he declared a “pariah” state in the 2020 election, new White House National Security Council official John Kirby told Fox News that the president wouldn’t hesitate to discuss human rights concerns.

During his presidential campaign, Biden slammed the Saudi royal family for allegations surrounding the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, in response to a question about President Trump’s warmer relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud. .

Kirby told “The Story” that Biden is attending the Gulf Cooperation Council meetings plus three in Riyadh, but will indeed have a bilateral meeting with the ruling family.

“There is a lot on the bilateral agenda between us and Saudi Arabia, which is a key strategic partner in the region,” he said, pointing to the war in Yemen and oil production.

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
(AP)

“There is enough going on in the region for the president to walk away…Obviously oil production will be on the agenda, as will climate change, counter-terrorism, as well as Iran.”

Host Martha MacCallum, while noting that Americans might rather want to hear Biden talk more about increasing US oil production than seeking export guarantees, played back the clip in which Biden condemned the Saudis.

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White House official pressed Biden’s Saudi trip in light of ‘pariah’ comment

Biden has slammed the Saudi royal family over allegations surrounding the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi,
(AP)

“Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered. And I believe [at] the order of the crown prince. And I would like to make it very clear that we were not, in fact, going to sell them more weapons — we were, in fact, going to make them pay the price and make them, in effect, the pariahs that they are,” Biden said in 2019.

“There is very little social and redemptive value in the current government in Saudi Arabia.”

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White House official pressed Biden’s Saudi trip in light of ‘pariah’ comment

Next, President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office
(AP)

Kirby replied that he “fully expects” Biden to speak with bin Salman and that his foreign policy is still guided by Democratic values.

“[A]Around the world, when the President meets with leaders and his counterparts, he is not afraid, and he will never hesitate to speak about our human rights concerns,” Kirby said.

Biden will also visit Israel, as well as the West Bank where he would meet Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.


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